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Good Wineries near to LA

Looking for a good winery near LA for (first time) wine tasting (and if possible not too expensive)

If there is already a thread/topic, please point me to it...

Thanks!!

P.S. ..maybe this is not technically the area for wine related question but I though it will be a good start :)

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    1. re: Adsvino

      That should be enough to scare the OP out of wine tasting for quite some time. All one can say about San Antonio Winery, is that it is a winery. "Good" is a very big stretch. Even "mediocre" would be a stretch. (Although I did recently discover that they are making a not bad red wine vinegar.) The closest "good" wineries that I am aware of are in the neighborhood of Santa Barbara, and possibly some okay wineries in Temecula.

      1. re: estone888

        santa barbara county, santa ynez valley.. Here is a link:
        http://www.santaynezwinecountry.com

        Enjoy..

        1. re: Foodandwine

          As long as the traffic is behaving, one can do this in a little over two hours. It's a fantastic drive up to the Santa Ynez - God's country in the spring...

      2. re: Adsvino

        Do they still offer their wines in those huge gallon glass jugs?

      3. As others have posted, the closest wineries for good tasting are in the Santa Ynez valley. If you've never been up there, you should go--it's beautiful and they have some great wineries. Blackjack Ranch, Melville, Babcock, Alma Rosa are just a few that come to mind.

        However, if that is too far, there are some wine stores that do wine tastings. I don't know where in L.A. you live, but there's a place in Northridge, for example, called Napa in the Valley that does tastings. I'm sure there are plenty of others in town.

        2 Replies
        1. re: brandygirl

          Vinoteque recently opened in Culver City (in the location formerly occupied by Synergy Cafe) on Sepulveda just south of Braddock. We plan on trying them soon, and it seems that most folks who have chimed in seem to like it to love it. Also Bottle Rock, Vinum Populi, (both in DT Culver City) and Upstairs 2 (West LA) would be easy choices.

          Okay, it's not like driving up to the Central Coast but just think of the extra four-plus hours you'll have and with gas at $4+ a gallon, you'll get at least four more glasses worth of time and wine to enjoy...

          1. re: brandygirl

            I believe Napa in the Valley is RIP.

          2. Malibu Wines has a cute little outdoor tasting room and some nice wines from the Semler family at Saddlerock Ranch. It's not a winery, per say, but the tasting room is in the midst of the vineyards. There's also a nice lawn and picnic tables.

            2 Replies
            1. re: grubtrotters

              Grubtrotters, thanks for the tip.. took a peek at their website and Friday Night Jazz sound like a fun spot. Would of never know!! You make this board ever more special..

            2. As others have noted, the closest "good" wineries to Los Angeles are in the Santa Ynez Valley, about 125 miles north of Los Angeles. The Santa Ynez Valley is where they filmed the movie "Sideways," and there are a ton of good wineries there. Check on the California board for more specific recommendations. Here's a recent thread on wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/478826

              If you want to stay closer to Los Angeles, there are a few wineries in the Cucamonga Valley, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, including Galleano Winery and J. Filippi. While they are not notable for their excellent wines, the tours are fun and impart a great sense of history:

              http://www.josephfilippiwinery.com/

              http://www.galleanowinery.com/

              If you do go out to the Cucamonga Valley, while there you should also do a tour of the Graber Olive House, a Southern California institution:

              http://www.graberolives.com/

              If what you want is to taste really good wines in/near Los Angeles, your best bet would be to go to one of many good wine shops in Los Angeles. Stores with good tasting programs include Silverlake Wine, The Wine House in West L.A. and Colorado Wine in Eagle Rock.

              -----
              Colorado Wine Company
              2114 W Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

              Silverlake Wine
              2395 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

              Wine House
              2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                1. Although you can't actually visit it or taste the wines, Rosenthal is on PCH near Malibu and is pretty to look at.
                  San Antonio is the only winery in LA (and they will even tell you that if a label says "bottled in LA" it is a San Antonio wine, regardless of the name on it). While some of their higher end wines are ok, and their San Simeon 2004 Pinot Noir is a phemonemon (and is about $10 a bottle when you can find it), the wines are generally forgettable or worse. That doesn't mean visiting their winery east of Downtown isn't a real wine experience. The tour is a hoot and their tasting room gives you a real wine tasting experience. The restaurant is an institution and a bargain. The best part of it is watching couples dance on the built in dance floor while you eat (going out to lunch in office attire to dance on a weekday smacks of illicit affairs).
                  Other than that you're looking at a two plus hour drive to Santa Ynez and even more driving between wineries, none of which have free tastings when you get there.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Griller141

                    Looks like Rosenthal DOES have a tasting room now: http://www.rosenthalestatewines.com/v...

                    Semler is also quite good, as was mentioned elsewhere here.
                    http://www.malibufamilywines.com/tast...

                    I'd have to agree that San Antonio's own wines are not generally among the best. You'd have a better tasting experience at most any of the retailer/tasting bars mentioned in other posts.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      I tried to call Rosenthal, as I would love to do a tasting visit, but no one answered. Their web site says the following:

                      Due to various regulations, Rosenthal- The Malibu Estate is not available for general visits, tours and wine tastings. However, the estate is available for limited large private tours or certain VIP visits from time to time, by invitation only. Note that we do not host weddings or wedding receptions.

                      Has anyone actually been there and tasted their offerings?

                    2. re: Griller141

                      I believe you can actually visit and taste the wines at Rosenthal. And, you're right, it is pretty to look at.

                      1. re: Griller141

                        I'll buy the institution but, it's hardly a bargain when you consider the cafeteria style ordering and the throw away plates and utensils.

                        1. re: Griller141

                          Pierre La Fond has a winery and tasting room in Santa Barbara and is bout 45 minutes to an hour closer than Santa Ynez. I might also note that some of their wines are exceptional. Then you can head to Brophy Brothers for Clam Chowder. When you order a cup of clam chowder they actually bring it to you in a large coffee cup. Depending on the day of the week you could also consider the Wine Cask for lunch on their patio, reservations suggested.

                        2. There are three wineries in the Antelope Valley, only an hour from LA,

                          Antelope Valley Winery - beautiful winery and tasting room, wines were only OK when I was there, but that has been two years ago.
                          http://www.avwinery.com/

                          Cameo Winery - haven't been there yet, have heard good things.
                          https://www.cameovineyards.com/

                          ...another I can't remember the name of, and they don't have a website so I can't look it up.
                          There are also some wineries on the outskirts of Palmdale.

                          1. I think your best bet is to visit a restaurant that has wine flights. I saw a recent post on that topic which may help:

                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/514948

                            I was just at Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez area this past weekend and went to a few wineries as well as the Los Olivos Wine Merchant. My impression is - if you love pinot and syrah it's worthwhile going there; didn't see much in terms of chardonnay and other whites or rose'. We are not wine-hounds though but visited Napa many times, and I may be way off base (I am sure the wine experts will correct me), but I don't see as diverse a variety at Santa Ynez as up in Napa. After the 2nd or 3rd winery visit the sample list started to look remarkedly similar. With that said, we still managed to pick up a few bottles of wine that's worthwhile to keep.